Laminectomy surgery — overview and alternative treatment options

Laminectomy

Most patients experience some form of spinal stenosis as they age. Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spinal canal and is part of a group of degenerative spine conditions that cause pain by compressing a nerve root in the spinal canal. While most degenerative spine conditions can be treated with conservative methods of treatment, more advanced cases of spinal stenosis might require spine surgery to find lasting pain relief.

If you have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis and you have not found relief from conservative treatments, you might want to consider consulting your physician about spine surgery. As you research the types of spine surgery used to treat spinal stenosis, you will likely come across laminectomy surgery. Laminectomy surgery is a traditional open back surgery that aims to decompress the impacted nerve in the spinal canal that is causing your pain and increase the space in your narrowing spinal canal to prevent future nerve compression.

During your research process, we encourage you to reach out to our care team at Laser Spine Institute with questions about laminectomy surgery and other minimally invasive surgery alternatives to help treat your spinal stenosis. Our goal is to inform you about your treatment options so you can make the best decision for your needs.

Laminectomy overview

A laminectomy surgery is typically performed at a hospital and will require a few days of postoperative hospital stay to monitor your recovery. This traditional open back surgery begins with a sizeable incision in the back, typically about 6 inches. During this incision, the muscles surrounding the spine are disrupted in order for the surgeon to access the spine.

Once the spine is accessed, the surgeon will cut the bone spurs or protruding component of the spine to free the impacted nerve in the spinal canal. This will also serve to create space between the spine and the spinal canal, thus reducing the risk of redeveloping spinal stenosis. After the protrusion in the spine is cut, the surgeon will either close the incision or insert a stabilization device, depending on the severity of the spine condition. This will be discussed before the surgery is performed based on an MRI or CT scan review.

If the spine condition is severe, the surgeon may have to remove the entire diseased vertebrae or disc. A stabilization device, often an implant or bone graft, will be inserted into the now-empty space to immediately stabilize the spine.

Minimally invasive alternative to laminectomy surgery

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a minimally invasive alternative to laminectomy surgery that is a safer, more effective option for treatment. Our minimally invasive laminotomy procedure is performed as an outpatient surgery, which means our patients are able to leave the same day the surgery is performed.

During our minimally invasive laminotomy surgery, the surgeon will make a 1-inch incision in the back to access the spine. The muscles and soft tissue surrounding the spine will be spared. Once the spine is visible, the surgeon will remove the protruded portion of the spine to decompress the nerve in the spinal canal. This is considered a minimally invasive decompression surgery.
If the patient needs an implant to stabilize the spine once the diseased portion of the spine is removed, this would be considered a minimally invasive stabilization surgery.


For more information about surgical treatment options for spinal stenosis, contact our care team. We can help guide you through your options so you can find the best treatment for your needs.